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Downtown students with ASU Changemaker are hoping to put a smile on the faces of veterans during ASU's Salute to Service week. They asked students, faculty, staff and passersby to write letters thanking veterans for their service. They also handed out free meal coupons to veterans that approached their table on Taylor Mall on the downtown Phoenix campus.
“They serve our country and they do this great service and they sacrifice,” said Andy Moreno, an ASU changemaker. “And yet they are surprised that we care so much and that we appreciate them.”
College of Nursing and Health Innovation freshman Iliana Rivera is one of more than 30 people who took the time to write a letter to a veteran. She stood for several minutes with a clipboard penning her message on ASU Changemaker letterhead with the title “From a Sun Devil to a Soldier.”
“I just think some veterans don't have a lot of support,” said Rivera. “This shows our appreciation for them and will hopefully put a smile on someone's face.”
Kelly Ramella was thankful for the opportunity. An associate instructional professional in the School of Community Resources and Development, Ramella is married to a Marine. In her letter, she mentioned her father’s and grandfather’s military service.
She wrote: “In my experience, those who serve our country are truly remarkable; The spirit within is like no other. Although I do not know who will read this letter, I do know that you are a person who is family to me. You care about the well-being of all Americans and have committed your life to protect our freedom and all our flag represents.”
ASU Changemaker students will collect more letters and hand out meal vouchers to veterans on the downtown ASU campus’ Taylor Mall from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10.
“We're going to be giving these letters to different veteran organizations,” said Moreno. “Veterans can read what students think and how much they appreciate and value the service that they have put in.”